Following his breaktout 2017 season, the Cincinnati Reds added Jose Siri to the 40-man roster. It protected him from the Rule 5 draft, and it got him an invitation to Major League spring training in 2018. It wouldn’t be his first time in big league camp, but it would be as far as being there every day. Things, however, didn’t go as planned. In the first game of the spring, Siri entered as a defensive replacement. That same inning he would collide with the wall in center field and injure his thumb. The injury would cost him the next two months.
It took a little bit of time for Jose Siri to return, but once he did the Reds assigned him to Daytona. He played his first game of the year on May 10th. Things got out to a nice start for the center fielder. In the first four games of the year he hit .444 and slugged .778. Over the next week, though, things spiraled as he went 2-23 (.087). The then 22-year-old would rebound in the last week of the month, going 8-22 (.364). The ups-and-downs of that three week stretch culminated in a .286/.309/.413 line over 68 plate appearances with three walks and 16 strikeouts.
June didn’t get out to the same kind of start that May did. Over the first week, a stretch of eight games, Jose Siri hit .219 with just one walk. The second week wasn’t any better as he hit just .200 without a walk. The Florida State League All-Star break followed. On the 19th he returned to the field and went 2-4 with a double and a triple. That was his last game played for the Tortugas. The final nine days of the month were spent in Double-A Pensacola and it was mostly more of the same. He hit just .182 with three walks, but he struck out 17 times in 37 trips to the plate. He made his six hits count, though, as he doubled once and hit four home runs in that span. June was the worst month of the season for Siri, hitting just .213/.245/.416 with four walks and 33 strikeouts.
The first week of July followed along the similar line for Jose Siri. He hit just .217, but slugged .478 as he made the hits he did have count. The next week was similar, but without power as he hit .240 and had just one extra-base hit. He also struck out 10 times for the second straight week. The second half of July, though, was a very different story. Jose Siri really cut down on strikeouts, fanning just 15 times in 68 plate appearances. He also walked six times in that stretch. Those things allowed him to hit .300/.382/.683 in the final 15 games. Overall the month was the best he had during the year, hitting .269/.339/.556 with 10 walks and 35 strikeouts in 121 trips to the plate. He also added a season high seven steals during the month – pushing his total to 17 on the season.
In the first week of August, Jose Siri hit .217/.321/.478. He walked four times and added three extra-base hits for the Blue Wahoos. The next week was quite the slump for the 23-year-old Dominican Republic native. He hit just .059, going 1-17 with that hit being a triple. Things got better from there, but they weren’t great. In the final three weeks of the season, Siri hit .236/.286/.417. That stretch put his final 28 games with a line of .205/.280/.393 with 11 walks and 39 strikeouts in 125 plate appearances.
For all 2018 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Jose Siri Spray Chart
Jose Siri Scouting Report
Hitting | Jose Siri can and does use the entire field. And he can do so with authority. He’s got barrel awareness that sticks out. But, his pitch recognition skills don’t allow his above-average hit tool play up to that level.
Power | There’s above-average power in his bat. While the home run totals alone give him that above-average power, his speed allows his extra-base hit total play up some, too.
Speed | He’s a plus runner who can use it well on the bases and in the field.
Defense | He’s a plus defender in center field.
Arm | He’s got a slightly above-average arm.
When you look at the raw tools that Jose Siri brings to the table he may be unmatched in the entire organization. He’s a legitimate 5-tool player where all of his tools are above-average. But right now, they don’t all play up to that point. His pitch recognition has improved over the last few years, but it’s still a bit of a weakness in his game. That’s led to him struggling to hit for a solid average, and struggling to make contact in Double-A where he struck out 32.2% of the time he stepped to the plate this year.
The Reds probably promoted him too aggressively in 2018. While the Florida State League is a known pitchers league, Jose Siri wasn’t exactly thriving in his month-and-a-half with Daytona. He moved up, and did show some improvements. He showed far and away his best walk rate at any level he’s ever had. Siri also showed off his highest isolated power number (SLG-AVG) that he’s ever had. Both of those were good signs – particularly the walk rate, which has been a real problem for the outfielder in the past.
But he also showed a very high strikeout rate in Double-A, too. And it’s a rate that he will have to cut down on as he continues to develop. It appeared that there was a concerted effort to take pitches and work deeper into counts once he got to Double-A. That could, in part at least, explain both the higher walk and strikeout rates.
While there may feel like there’s some “boom-or-bust” with Jose Siri, that isn’t likely the case. With his speed, power, and defensive abilities, if he’s not able to make the adjustments enough to get on base frequently enough to start, he’s an ideal 4th outfielder. He can be a defensive back up, pinch runner, and pinch hitter with pop. The true bust potential is very low. If he’s able to improve to the point that he can get on base enough to start, you’re looking at a guy with All-Star potential who can excel in all facets of the game.
Longest Home Run of the Year
426 Feet on July 18th.
Interesting Stat on Jose Siri
Jose Siri hit .211/.244/.386 against pitchers younger than he was. He hit .252/.315/.477 against pitchers that were older than he was.